Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cool running

In every apartment I have lived in, I've had those baseboard heaters. Also in every apartment I have lived in, I have never used them. My thermostat is always turned down as far as it will go. I have found that in most cases, the places I have lived stay in the mid 60's during the winter without turning the heat on. That is comfortable for me. And, my current place has a fireplace, so I crank that up if I am chilly.

When I arrived home from work today, I thought it felt unusually cold in my apartment. I checked out the temperature gauge on the thermostat. It was 58 degrees inside! I guess that will happen when your high temperature outside barely approaches zero for two consecutive days (with projected lows around -22 tonight).

Needless to say, the fireplace AND the baseboard heaters are on right now.

Still, I went running when I got home from work. The temperature was -4 degrees. But the good news is that the wind chill was only -23. :) (Hey, it could always be worse, like here where it was so cold they closed some ski hills on account of the wind chill!)

I braved the elements and put in my 5 miles today. Actually, I had a fantastic run. Despite being cold, the sun was shining, so I had that going for me! The trails were plowed, but they had a light dusting of snow from last night, so there was plenty of grip. I clipped right along at a brisk (pardon the pun) pace.

Perhaps I am strange, but I really actually enjoy running in weather like this. It is exhilarating, it makes me feel like I am accomplishing something, and you are pretty much guaranteed to have the trails to yourself (I didn't see a soul, and I only saw two other sets of footprints in the fresh snow. Both were made by runners. You could tell by the stride!).

The one thing that I really dislike with winter running is getting dressed, especially on days like this. It just takes so dang long to get ready! For example, here is a complete list of every article of clothing I had on today.

Bundled up for a January run

What Jean wore in the -23 wind chill

-Running briefs
-Base layer long underwear
-Cold weather running tights
-Running pants
-Base layer winter running shirt
-Long sleeved technical shirt with mock turtleneck
-Another long sleeved technical shirt over that
-Running jacket
-Full face mask
-A Buff for around my neck
-Stocking cap
-Running gloves made of Polartec material
-Running mittens worn over my gloves

Believe it or not, I was actually quite comfortable (even considering my Buff ended up partially freezing to my face mask!). I am not sure who coined the phrase, but it is said there is no such thing as bad weather; just bad gear. With some care and preparation, running can be accomplished outside in the brutal Minnesota winter. And some might even call it fun! :)

Sticking close to the fireplace tonight,

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